Annals of Internal Medicine 5 March 2013, Vol 158, No. 5_Part 2
Over the past 12 years, since the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s report, “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” improving patient safety has been the focus of considerable public and professional interest. Although such efforts required changes in policies; education; workforce; and health care financing, organization, and delivery, the most important gap has arguably been in research. Specifically, to improve patient safety we needed to identify hazards, determine how to measure them accurately, and identify solutions that work to reduce patient harm. A 2001 report commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “Making Health Care Safer: A Critical Analysis of Patient Safety Practices” (1), helped identify some early evidence-based safety practices, but it also highlighted an enormous gap between what was known and what needed to be known.
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